Malaysia among Asia’s top three in world rankings


Showcasing an improved performance in the latest Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) World University Rankings by Subject 2024, Malaysia is now ranked the third highest in Asia and the sixth highest in the world.

The country charted a 22% improvement rate in the rankings, which offer independent data on the performance of 240 programmes at 25 Malaysian universities.

Among the country’s ranked programmes, 84 improved and 38 were ranked for the first time.

Taylor’s University is the highest ranked Malaysian higher education institution, according to a QS press release dated April 10.

This year, the institution achieved a record-breaking feat with 17 subjects ranked globally and four subjects in the world’s Top 100. Taylor’s placed 19th for Hospitality and Leisure Management, making it Asia’s third best entry for the subject.

It was the first time the varsity’s Marketing programme appeared in the rankings, debuting in the 21-50 band. Other fields which recorded significant achievements were Data Science and Artificial Intelligence in the 51-70 band and Art and Design in the 51–100 band.

Both Accounting and Finance, and Architecture and Built Environment, were in the 101–150 band, while Economics and Econometrics, and Sociology, were in the 151-200 band.

Taylor’s University vice-chancellor and president Prof Barry Winn said the rankings are a testament to the institution’s commitment to teaching excellence and its supportive learning community.

Prof WinnProf Winn

“The inclusion of 17 subjects in the rankings highlights the breadth and depth of excellence across our academic offerings.

“This achievement not only demonstrates our ability to excel in a diverse range of disciplines, but also underscores our commitment to providing a holistic and top-tier education to our students,” he said.

Universiti Malaya (UM) is the country’s most represented institution in the rankings with 38 of its subjects ranked – 21 of which were in the global top 100, including its highest performing entry, Library and Information Management, in 28th place.

The country’s oldest varsity is also home to Malaysia’s two most improved subject entries, with its Pharmacy programme climbing 29 rungs to 72nd spot, and its Economics programme in the top 100, placing 93rd, due to improvements in research metrics, primarily Citations per Paper.

Attributing its success to “hard work and great tenacity”, UM vice-chancellor Prof Datuk Seri Dr Noor Azuan Abu Osman said the entire campus community, particularly the academic and research talent pool and non-academic workforce, has been striving to meet the varsity’s key performance indicators.

He described the rankings as a “push factor” that will drive UM to carry out necessary improvements to face the challenges ahead.

Prof Noor AzuanProf Noor Azuan

“There is no time for complacency. This feat will inspire us to work even harder for the benefit of the country and the world,” he said.

Universiti Teknologi PETRONAS (UTP) ranked 20th for Petroleum Engineering, making it the second best in Asia, while its Mineral and Mining Engineering programme moved up from 49th to 41st this year.

The varsity is now ranked under two broad subjects – Engineering and Technology, and Natural Sciences – and has eight subjects that climbed in rankings compared to last year.

The most notable improvement is the broad subject Engineering and Technology, which jumped 25 spots from 200th in 2023 to 175th in 2024.

Natural Sciences, said UTP vice-chancellor Prof Datuk Dr Mohamed Ibrahim Abdul Mutalib, is a new entrant and a significant milestone for the varsity.

Describing the achievement as a “significant advancement across multiple areas”, he said the varsity was “thrilled” with its progress in the rankings.

Prof Mohamed IbrahimProf Mohamed Ibrahim

“This recognition acknowledges our growing strength and paves the way for future scientific advancements,” he said, adding that the rankings underscore UTP’s unwavering commitment to providing world-class education.

With 26 of its subjects ranked, Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) showed the most improvement in Malaysia.

Its overall improvement rate was 42%, and its highest ranked entry was Veterinary Science, which climbed six positions to place at 40th spot.

Management and Science University (MSU) rose from 46th last year to 29th for Hospitality and Leisure Management.

International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM) remained in the top 50 for Theology, Divinity and Religious Studies, and UCSI University ranked 42nd for Performing Arts.

“UCSI University is glad to maintain its long-standing tradition of excellence in music and performing arts.

“We are also encouraged to improve our subject ranking in Art and Design by more than 100 positions over the past two years,” its vice-chancellor Prof Datuk Dr Siti Hamisah Tapsir said, adding that the varsity will continue striving to enhance learning experiences, research and graduate outcomes for its students.

Prof Siti HamisahProf Siti Hamisah

QS senior vice president Ben Sowter said universities experiencing upward mobility have benefited from sustained, targeted investment, highlighting the importance of government support.

“Meanwhile, the development of partnerships with industry correlates with improved performance in employment and research,” he added.

The full rankings can be found at https://www.topuniversities.com/subject-rankings/2024.

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